I get asked all the time what the correct order of my eight DIAGNOSIS MURDER books is… so here you go, in chronological order:
The Silent Partner – Dr. Mark Sloan is assigned to LAPD’s “unsolved homicide” files. As he reopens one case on the murder of a woman whose killer currently sits on Death Row, Sloan learns that the wrong man was charged. And that the real killer is still at large..
The Death Merchant – A dream vacation in Hawaii turns into a nightmare for Dr. Mark Sloan and his son, Steve, when a man they’ve befriended falls victim to a shark attack. But when Mark discovers evidence indicating the victim was murdered prior to becoming shark food, he and Steve comb the beaches to find a different kind of predator…
The Shooting Script – Dr. Mark Sloan is drawn to the sounds of gunfire at his neighbor’s Malibu beach house. There, he discovers the bullet-riddled bodies of an aspiring actress a Hollywood producer. An obvious suspect is the producer’s wife-who has gunpowder residue all over her clothing, but also has a perfect alibi. However, Mark thinks that the crime scene resembles a hit more than a crime of passion. When he and his son start investigating a local mob kingpin’s involvement, Mark soon finds himself unpopular with the police-and, of course, with the murderer.
The Waking Nightmare – Dr. Mark Sloan saves a would-be suicide victim, but her jump from a building ledge has left her in a coma. Obsessed with learning why she attempted suicide, Sloan stumbles into a manhunt for a cop-killer-who may turn his attention to nosy physicians next.
The Past Tense – Dr. Mark Sloan is startled to discover a dead woman—dressed as a mermaid—washed up on the beach outside his home. Even more bizarre, the autopsy reveals a digital memory card within a capsule inside the body’s stomach. The card contains the report of a forty-three-year-old murder in Los Angeles—the first homicide case Mark ever solved, when he was a struggling intern and newlywed father. When a second body is discovered—a woman who was apparently the victim of an impromptu autopsy in her own kitchen—the good doctor realizes that he must find the connection between the two murders. And perhaps more urgently, the connection to his own past
The Dead Letter – A blackmailer, a dead detective, and a mysterious letter that make an unusual request of Dr. Sloan: avenge a murder.
The Double Life – When Dr. Mark Sloan wakes up in his own hospital’s I.C.U., he doesn’t remember how he got there-or anything from the last two years of his life, including a wife he doesn’t recognize, and grandkids he never knew existed. He learns that he was run down in the street while investigating a series of mysterious deaths, all of whom were patients recently recovered from life-threatening illnesses and accidents. Mark resumes his investigation, only to realize that his “accident” was no accident, and that there is little time left to prevent another murder-his own.
The Last Word – The final book in the Diagnosis Murder series. When a young woman falls down a flight of stairs and is left brain dead, her family agrees to donate her organs. Dr. Jesse Travis oversees the grim task, saving several other seriously ill patients. But one of the organ recipients returns to the hospital with a complication no one could have seen coming-West Nile Virus. Soon, other patients who received organs at Community General begin dying of West Nile-related illnesses, and Jesse is suspected of being at fault. Dr. Mark Sloan knows his friend isn’t to blame-and he soon uncovers a conspiracy of greed and personal revenge that may mean the end of his career.
Here’s a sampling from the mailbag this week. I got this note from a Diagnosis Murderfan:
please put diagnosis murder back on youtube it is one of my favorite tv shows in the wide world and also airwolf is one of my favoritew shows as well i miss diagnosis murder very much i watch it almost all day long signed a upset fan of the show anna
I have nothing to do with any Diagnosis Murder episodes that are posted on YouTube. That said, whoever posted them as violating the copyright and the studio probably had the videos yanked. The good news is that the entire series is coming out on DVD later this summer…and I wrote the liner notes for the seasons that Bill Rabkin and I worked on. More on that soon.
I just love your Monk Books, and when it was on TV, the show too.
I was noticing in my iTunes there is an author who has written some Mr. Monk books by the name of Hy Conrad. Is this a pen name or is someone actually writing Mr. Monk books and why aren’t you?
I have bought all of Mr. Monk books by you either through stores or in my iTunes.
I would appreciate it if you could email me and let me know the reason for the change in authors.
Thank you for your kind words about the book. I decided, after 15 books, that it was time to move on to other things. Hy Conrad is, indeed, a real person and he’s picked up where I left off. His first book, Mr. Monk Helps Himself, just came out. You can read more about it here.
After reading THE HEIST I have read most of your work and enjoyed it a great deal.
Wondering if we will indeed see Tom Wade …..or even Harvey Mapes again ( the references to Travis McGee and Spenser et al hilarious….and prompted me to reread a couple of old John D McDonalds..great fun)
And why are you not in ibooks?
Thank you for your work!
I will definitely be writing a King Citysequel, but I’ve got the sequel to The Heist to do first! King City was published by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint, and I believe iBookstore refuses to carry Amazon titles. As for my backlist titles (Watch Me Die, The Walk, etc), I have an exclusive agreement with Amazon to publish and sell those books…at least for the time being.
Forgotten Laughsis a fantastic book from Bear Manor Publishing that focuses on comedies that lasted six episodes…or less. Many of the sitcoms were initially picked up for thirteen episodes but didn’t survive past their first or second week on the air. Some of the shows were cancelled before even one episode got on the air. The book includes detailed episode guides for the aired, unaired or, in some cases, unproduced episodes of each series and gives the backstories on their development and cancellation. It’s a treasure trove of information and a fascinating glimpse into the world of network television scheduling and development. It’s an exhaustively-researched, smoothly written, must-have reference book for TV industry followers. I absolutely loved it. I hope Irvin will follow up with a sequel covering forgotten one-hour dramas.
Paperback Confidential is an essential reference book for lovers of hard-boiled/noir paperbacks of the 1930s through the mid-1960s, most of them forgotten by most readers today. Ritt profiles 132 of the best loved, and also some of the most obscure, authors of the era. Authors include David Goodis, Norbert Davis, Marvin Albert, Dolores Hitchens, Fletcher Flora, Cornell Woolrich, Ann Bannon, Harry Whittington, and so many others. Ritt not only tells you all about them and their books, he also provides their pseudonyms and a selected bibliography of their work (some of these authors wrote dozens, if not hundreds, of books). Now whenever I pick up a vintage paperback from some author I’ve never heard of, this book will save me the hours I would have spent on the Internet searching for more information. It’s no surprise that this terrific book comes from Stark House Press, the people who’ve so lovingly republished “lost” and/or long out-of-print books by Harry Whittington, Gil Brewer, Dan J. Marlowe, and James Hadley Chase among others. The people at Stark House are doing God’s work, as far as I’m concerned.
(For the record, I independently bought both of these books…there were not provided to me for review)
I’m always getting asked what the correct order is for the 18 (and counting!) novels in THE DEAD MAN series… so here it is.
For those of you unfamiliar with THE DEAD MAN, it’s an original series of action-adventure-horror novellas created by William Rabkin & yours truly and published every month or so by Amazon’s 47North imprint. Here’s the basic concept:
Matt Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own. Now he’s on a dangerous quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become…and engaged in an epic battle to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.
Bill and I wrote the first and third novellas…but we’ve brought in some of the best writers in the business, from across a wide spectrum of genres, to work with us on the other books in the series. The roster of acclaimed authors includes bestselling thriller writer Joel Goldman, Star Trek Voyager writer/producer Lisa Klink, multiple Edgar-award nominee Christa Faust, legendary western novelist James Reasoner, and Emmy-award winning TV writer-producer Phoef Sutton (Cheers, Boston Legal, etc) to name just a few.
The DEAD MAN books don’t need to be read in order, so don’t let the number of titles intimidate you. The books are available in Kindle, paperbacks, and audiobook editions. As a special treat, here’s the DEAD MAN theme song by Matt Branham to get you in the mood while you browse the list of titles.
Face of Evil – by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
Matt Cahill is a widower leading a quiet, solitary life–cutting wood at a lumber mill in the Pacific Northwest, watching out for his trouble-prone friend Andy, and making his first, tentative attempt at a new romance with his co-woker Rachel. But a getaway to a ski resort goes tragically wrong and he is killed in an avalanche. That should be the end of his story, but for Matt, it’s only the beginning. And now finds himself taking the first step in a horrifying odyssey across a dark world that exists within our own, where he must confront Mr. Dark, a violent, supernatural entity that spreads evil among us like a plague.
Ring of Knives – by James Daniels
Matt believes a madman may hold the key to defeating Mr. Dark and his rotting touch. To find him, Matt must infiltrate a lunatic asylum in Ring of Knives—and his only chance of escaping alive is to face the unspeakable terror deep in the asylum’s woods.
Hell in Heaven – by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
In search of Mr. Dark, Matt finds himself in Heaven, Washington, a tiny hamlet in the Cascade Mountains embroiled in a four-family blood feud in Hell in Heaven. Only Matt can stop the bloodshed, but even he is going to have a hard time figuring out why Mr. Dark brought him here.
The Dead Woman – by David McAfee
A serial killer is stalking Crawford, Tennessee, and Matt is determined to stop the killing. But when his new love interest turns out to have his ability to spot evil, and Mr. Dark puts his fingerprints on the town’s terror, Matt is going to need help.
The Blood Mesa – by James Reasoner
An archeological dig on a desolate southwestern mesa unleashes an ancient evil spirit whose insatiable hunger traps Matt and a band of innocents. Now, they must find their way out before an epic slaughter turns the peaceful site into the Blood Mesa.
Kill Them All – by Harry Shannon
Trapped in a Nevada ghost town between its peaceful residents and a marauding band of mercenaries out for the secrets of his immortal blood, Matt must stand side-by-side with the townsfolk.
Beast Within – by James Daniels
Matt’s search for a paranoid visionary who claims to have defeated a supernatural entity like Mr. Dark leads him deep into the Michigan woods. But when he finds himself trapped in a bloody siege between warring factions, his only hope for escape from an unstoppable advance of mayhem, carnage, and black magic is to trust his instincts, grab his ax, and unleash the ferocity of The Beast Within.
Fire & Ice by – by Jude Hardin
A disgruntled ex-employee at a chemical company walks into the plant and starts shooting, trapping Matt and four other workers inside. As the body count rises, Matt realizes the shooter has a much bigger, deadlier plan in mind, one that could leave thousands dead. And just when he thinks the day can’t get any worse, the cunning Mr. Dark raises the stakes to horrifying heights
Carnival of Death – By Bill Crider
Hungry for respite from his solitary mission, Matt takes a gig working security at a traveling carnival. But it doesn’t take long for him to realize that something isn’t quite right. Sure enough, a series of violent events rocks the carnival and a charlatan’s dark prophecies suddenly begin coming true. So when she foresees imminent doom, Matt knows it can only mean one thing: Mr. Dark is here, and it’s not for the cotton candy…it’s to ignite a bloody Carnival of Death.
Freaks Must Die – by Joel Goldman
On a quest to find a kidnapped child, Matt discovers an underworld of people with uncanny powers living in the shadows of New York City, trying to elude a ruthless force that’s vowed that the Freaks Must Die. Matt must run a deadly race against time to save the child, and the entire “freak” community, from bloody annihilation.
Slaves to Evil – by Lisa Klink
Matt goes to a town where all the cops are corrupt Slaves to Evil, terrorizing everyone and allowing crime to run rampant…but before he can battle them, he’s shot by a gun-toting teenager out to avenge Matt’s killing of her brother. Now Matt is trapped between hordes of deranged, killer cops and an innocent girl hell-bent on revenge.
The Midnight Special – by Phoef Sutton
The re-release of a cheesy 1970s zombie flick is sparking horrific bloodshed whenever it’s screened…and Matt Cahill is determined to stop it. His quest takes him to a grindhouse theatre in L.A., where a screening of The Midnight Special begins a night of unmitigated terror that will either put an end to Mr. Dark’s reign of evil…or mark a blood-soaked new beginning.
The Death Match – by Christa Faust
Matt enters the violent world of underground cage fighting where a brutal death match becomes a fight-to-the-undead that could lead him to the truth about his reincarnation…or to a gruesome demise.
The Black Death – by Aric Davis
The Black Death is a deadly new form of crystal meth that turns users into black-eyed, homicidal maniacs. Matt must destroy the virulently addictive drug before the madness spreads from a backwoods community to the entire nation.
The Killing Floor – by David Tully
A hydro-fracking operation resurrects an ancient, terrifying entity that pits Matt against Mr. Dark in an epic battle that began centuries ago and that will end today with the fate of mankind at stake on the blood-soaked dirt of the Killing Floor.
Colder Than Hell – by Anthony Neil Smith
On the road to Fargo, North Dakota, Matt Cahill is trapped in a hellacious blizzard on a frozen, traffic-choked interstate. He’s stalked by an escaped murderer and the guards who were transporting him–all of them seemingly possessed by a mutant virus that spreads quickly among the others trapped in their cars, turning everyone into crazed zombies. Matt struggles with a small band of survivors to find the source of the horrific plague before it claims them all. The odds are against any of them surviving the night….and that includes Mr. Dark.
Evil to Burn – by Lisa Klink
Matt Cahill is travelling by bus through the blasted wilderness of the Southwest to prevent a massacre from happening in Nevada, but Mr. Dark is intent on preventing him from making it there. A terrible crash leaves the bus totaled, and now Matt is injured, stranded, and fighting for his life against the elements…and an insidious evil that has spread through the surviving passengers. It’s a race against time, with Matt struggling to overcome his injuries even as he tries to save the survivors from the horror that they’ve become…because, while the evil surrounding him is bad, it’s nothing compared to the desert hell he needs to cross in order to keep a greater nightmare from unfolding—one that could give Mr. Dark terrifying new powers.
Streets of Blood – by Barry Napier
An elderly, bed-ridden woman in a retirement home is having nightmares of a dark, devilish entity tormenting her and her childhood friends in a dreamscape that’s as familiar to her as it is terrifying. She’s not the only one having the dreams. Matt Cahill is, too, and when he arrives in town, he discovers a community torn apart by gruesome violence, its residents in the grip of an evil force unlike any Matt has encountered before…one that’s even beyond the touch of Mr. Dark.
THE DEAD MAN COMPILATIONS & AUDIOBOOKS
The Dead Man V1 – Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, Hell in Heaven
The Dead Man V2 – The Dead Woman, The Blood Mesa, Kill Them All
The Dead Man V3 – The Beast Within, Fire and Ice, Carnival of Death
The Dead Man V4 – Freaks Must Die, Slaves to Evil, The Midnight Special
The Dead Man V5 – The Death Match, The Black Death, The Killing Floor
The Dead Man V6 – Colder Than Hell, Evil to Burn, Streets of Blood (Coming Soon!)
I’ve been getting lots of reader mail lately with questions about my Diagnosis Murder, King City and Monk novels. Here’s a sampling of some of the questions and my answers:
First of all, I want to say thank you for bring Sharona back into the Monk series in 2012 with Mr. Monk on Patrol. She was my favorite sidekick on the TV show and to see here reincarnated again in the book series was a delight for a reader and a fan of the TV Show.
Secondly, I was wondering if it would be possible to revive your Diagnosis Murder series again. I used to watch Diagnosis Murder all the time as a kid, and reading the few books that are available that you wrote made me appreciate the show and the creativity behind the plot and the whodunit moment. To read more adventures of Dr. Mark Sloan and his crime sleuth team would be a treat. Is that something that could be worked out?
I replied: I’m glad you’re enjoying the Diagnosis Murder and Monk books. I’m afraid the ship has sailed on Diagnosis Murder. I was also a writer and executive producer the TV series during it’s long run…and after 100 episodes and eight books, I felt that I’d explored every aspect of those characters that I wanted to….and got to end the series the way I always intended (with Diagnosis Murder: The Last Word).
Once I walked away, my publisher let their license from Paramount/Viacom lapse on the books. Perhaps some day another publisher will decide to license the rights, and hire another writer to carry on, but I think it’s very unlikely. As for Monk, I actually brought Sharona back in an earlier book, Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, which also predated her “return” on the TV series as well.
How did you come up with the title for King City? I was raised in King City, CA so I’m sure you are not from there or the local newspaper, (we KC-ites call it, “The Rustler”) would have you all over the front page at least once a month!! Since it’s a weekly newspaper and comes out on Thursdays they have to give some time to real crimes on their streets.
I replied: I have no idea how I came up with the name King City for my fictional metropolis in the Pacific Northwest. It just popped into my head. That said, I am a native Californian and have spent a lot of time in the Monterey area (when I was a kid we had a cabin in Capitola), so it’s possible the name of the town stuck with me all of these years, though I don’t remember ever having visited it.
Imagine how dismayed I was when I watched the final episode of the TV-series “Monk”, which I had discovered a few months earlier in reruns. It had become my favorite TV show. But then I got lucky. Quite by chance I discovered your Monk novel Mr. Monk on Patrolin a mail-order catalogue. Well, here was a chance to continue my Monk adventures. Having watched the series, I could visualize every scene in the book as if it were a TV show. Monk is his usual self, the plot is intricate and complex and the book is an easy and enjoyable read. Just one thing: You used who a couple of times when it should have been whom. If you like you can e-mail me any sentence with those words in it, and I’ll tell you which is correct. You’ll thank me later.
I replied: I’m so glad that you discovered the Monk books and that you are enjoying them. I’ve stopped writing the Monk books, but I can tell you the “who” instead of “whom” mistakes were entirely intentional, much to the consternation of my copyeditor. I know when and where to use “whom,” but I chose not to because it reads stodgy and awkward and I am a horrible human being. Most people do not use “whom” when they talk to one another.
Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants (2007) This book is unrelated to the MONK episode that brought back Sharona, which came several years after this book was published.
Mr. Monk in Outer Space (2007) Some characters in this book might be familiar to readers of my novel Dead Space (aka Beyond the Beyond). Monk’s brother Ambrose also has a significant role in this novel.
Mr. Monk Goes to Germany(2008) Several of the “assistants” that Natalie meets with in this book were originally introduced in Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu. Monk’s adversary Dale the Whale makes an appearance in this novel.
Mr. Monk is Miserable(2008) This book is a direct sequel to Germany and picks up right where the previous book left off.
Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop (2009) – There is a call-back in this novel to the MONK episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather,” which I wrote with William Rabkin. There are also some in-joke references to the TV series Mannix and Murder She Wrote.
Mr. Monk in Trouble (2009) There are many, many in-joke references in this book to western authors, television series, and movies, and even radio shows. An excerpt from the book was published as The Case of the Piss-Poor Gold in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2009
Mr. Monk on the Road (2011) This is the first book set after the final episode of the TV series and features Monk’s brother Ambrose in a big way.. Excerpt: Mr. Monk and the Seventeen Steps, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2010.
Mr. Monk on the Couch (2011) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Sunday Paper in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, July 2011
Mr. Monk on Patrol(2012) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Open House in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in December 2011. This book features the return of Sharona and Randy Disher.
Mr. Monk is a Mess (July 2012) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk and the Talking Car, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine May 2012. There is another call-back to the TV episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Godfather” in this novel.
Mr. Monk Gets Even(January 2013) An excerpt from the book was published as Mr. Monk Sees the Light inEllery Queen Mystery Magazine, December 2012. Dale the Whale and Monk’s brother Ambrose return in this book, which was my final novel in the series.
Mr. Monk Helps Himself (June 2013) This is the first book in the series written by Hy Conrad and picks up where my books left off.
In my “The Mail I Get” posts, I’ve shared dozens of examples of the lame pitches I’ve received from inept publicists and clueless authors about their books. Well, now I thought it was time to show you an example of how it’s done right. Here’s an excerpt of a very effective pitch that I got from a publicist today:
My name is Anna Ryan, and I’m representing a uniquely clever, and altogether fun, forensic medical mystery entitled, Lousiana Fever, written by forensic medical expert, DJ Donaldson. Louisiana Fever is the latest in the Andrew Broussard mysteries. […]Donaldson is known for his medical expertise, and his meticulous attention to scientific detail within his stories. But he’s also known for his colorful characters too. What I particularly love is how the protagonist–medical examiner Andrew Broussard–is not only an amazing forensic detective, but is decidedly obese and unabashedly loves food (almost as much as I do!) The interplay between him and his gorgeous counterpart, Kit Franklyn, make for a really fast-paced and uniquely clever mystery plot. Add in the sumptuous New Orleans, LA backdrop and you have a really enjoyable read…
The pitch not only conveys what is unique and interesting about the book and its author, but its shrewdly written in a chatty, personal way that makes it seem less like a press release and more like a recommendation from a friend. The accompanying press release included a blurb from Tess Gerritsen and an punchy lead:
Andy Broussard, the “Plump and Proud” New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food. Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, Broussard forms a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.
My friend Barry Eisler recently interviewed Amazon’s Philip Patrick about Kindle Worlds, a new program that allows fanficcers to write, publish, and sell, their own books set in popular book, TV and movie franchises. I’m very excited about this program. So much so, that we’re in talks with Kindle Worlds about bringing THE DEAD MAN series of novels into the program. On the face of it, this might be shocking news for people who’ve read my views on fanfic in the past…and misinterpreted them. Kindle Worlds is fanfiction written with the consent of the creators/rights holders, who can set whatever limits they want on how their characters/franchise are used. I think its a brilliant marriage of traditional tie-in writing and fan fiction… a win/win for creators and for the fans of their work. Here’s an excerpt from Barry and Philip’s discussion:
Philip: In general, our strong bias is to give writers as much creative freedom as is appropriate to each World. The people who understand that appropriateness best are the original rights holders—we’re calling them World Licensors—who will know what their audience expects and wants and how far the bounds can be pushed. There are shows, for instance, where mature content is part of the storytelling. And there are other shows where that isn’t the case. That makes sense to me on a lot of levels. So we’re asking each World Licensor to outline what is appropriate for their World’s audience in Content Guidelines. We’ll review submissions to see if they are within those guidelines. Our message to writers is pretty straightforward—follow any World’s guidelines and we will publish your story. And if something falls into a gray area, there’s always room for dialogue. We’ll talk to World Licensors as we review stories and we also will communicate back and forth with a writer if we have any questions.
I visited the excellent MURDER SHE WRITES blog today to talk about the fine art of collaborating… writing a screenplay or book with another writer. Here’s an excerpt:
In TV, you work for the Executive Producer, who is often the creator of the show, and with a room full of other writers. Your job is to tell a story the way the EP does, to establish and maintain a shared vision of the show and voice for the characters. You plot stories with other writers and often rewrite each other or just an scene or act of someone else’s script. (This is even true when you are the EP — you may be in charge, but you need to run the writers room, guide the plotting of stories, and usually have to do a polish on every script). Working this way gives you a real objectivity about your work and a willingness to accept feedback and other points-of-view without your ego getting bruised. It’s all about the show, not you.
In books, the writing is usually a singular pursuit. One author, one voice. But much of my novel-writing experience has been collaborative as well…
For more, check out the post at MURDER SHE WRITES.